Posted: 18th Sep 2016
Altior defeated Min to win the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at CheltenhamPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
ALTIOR, whose five-race winning streak over hurdles last season culminated in a brilliant victory from Min in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, will spearhead Nicky Henderson's team of novice chasers, the trainer revealed at his annual owners' day on Sunday.
Altior is very prominent in the market for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, being general 7-1 third favourite behind Faugheen, but is set to tread a different path to the Cheltenham Festival.
"We had always hoped he was a bit special and I am glad to say hopes were realised last season," said Henderson, whose exciting High Chaparral gelding is a general 4-1 chance for the Racing Post Arkle.
"We have spent the summer deliberating as to whether he should stay over hurdles with a view to having a look at the Champion, or switch to fences and aim at the Arkle.
"After a lot of thought, discussion and, at times, a lot of indecision, we have decided to take the novice chase route."
Henderson continued: "He is now a six-year-old, rising seven, and if we do not go chasing now I suspect we might never. Second, it was very obvious that he had grown considerably through the summer and although he was always a big horse, he now looks like a chaser, and as much as it would be tempting to see if he was good enough for a Champion Hurdle, which I think he is, we have plumped for fences."
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